NGOs: Polluters 1, environment 0

2011-12-11 22:41

Johannesburg - The interests of profit-hungry and polluting corporations have won at the recent UN climate talks, several NGOs said on Sunday.

"Polluters won, people lost," said Greenpeace International's executive director Kumi Naidoo.

"Our governments this past two weeks listened to the carbon-intensive polluting corporations instead of listening to the people who want an end to our dependence on fossil fuels and real and immediate action on climate change," said Naidoo in a statement.

Earlier on Sunday, International Relations Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane expressed satisfaction at the outcomes reached at the 17th United Nations Conference of Parties (COP 17) talks on climate change.

"We have 'worked together to save tomorrow, today!'" she said.

The climate change talks ended this weekend after 14 days of deliberation.

Nkoane-Mashabane said talks yielded a roadmap aimed at enforcing a legal framework to enforce carbon emission cuts from major greenhouse gas emitters.

French news agency AFP reported that should this framework be approved in 2015, it would be enforced by 2020.

Reacting to these resolutions, Friends of the Earth International climate justice co-ordinator Sarah-Jayne Clifton said the resolution of the talks indicated that ordinary people had been let down by their governments.

Potential catastrophe

"The noise of corporate polluters has drowned out the voices of ordinary people in the ears of our leaders," Clifton said.

Naidoo criticised the agreement reached at the talks which stipulated that the next deal on climate change matters need only be implemented in 2020.

"Right now the global climate regime amounts to nothing more than a voluntary deal that’s put off for a decade.

"This could take us over the 2°C threshold where we pass from danger to.”

Christian Aid spokesperson Mohamed Adow also said the delay in implementation was unacceptable.

"Action against climate change in 2020 will come a decade too late for poor people on the frontline - they urgently need it now.

"Their lives are already ravaged by floods, droughts, failed rains, deadly storms, hunger and disease and we know that these disasters will get worse and more frequent as climate change bites.

In name only

Adow said that the outcome in Durban was a compromise that would prove ineffective.

"It is a disastrous, profoundly distressing outcome - the worst I have ever seen from such a process."

He said the Kyoto protocol now existed "in name only".

Adow said the only "notable achievement" of the Durban talks was the agreement reached that the Green Climate Fund would soon have staff and an office.

"But the Fund remains empty and so countries must keep working to identify new sources of the $100bn a year which they have already agreed must be available to poor countries by 2020, to help them cope with climate change and pursue sustainable development."

The next Conference of Parties (COP 18) would be chaired and hosted by Qatar between November 26 and December 8 next year.

  • ItsJustaRide - 2011-12-11 23:22

    "it's all about the money, money, money."

      cobus.burgers - 2011-12-11 23:34

      And utter complacency by the general public at large. Look at the number of comments on this article compared to the political hot air on many of the other articles. People in general don't care when the problem is not yet in their own backyard. South Africans are in particular complacent to the extreme. Issues such as climate change don't bother most of them.

  • Sheik - 2011-12-12 00:17

    Climate charge will be the winner in the end. We have world leaders with long fingers and short vision. Just feel sorry for future generations who have had their souls sold by present politicians for a quick buck and the good life. Where will they be when everyone's fighting for air? This will happen, whether they believe it or not.

  • Phil.Kleynhans - 2011-12-12 00:54

    We kill the world. So the world is there to suvive, its going to eliminate us just watch. This is only the beginning

      Ian - 2011-12-12 01:06

      see my comment below

      Gollum - 2011-12-12 05:56

      We won't kill the world...we'll kill ourselves and take many species with us. The world will recover soon after we're gone.

      Breinlekkasie - 2011-12-12 06:50

      We have a 90% probability to go extinct, what are all these arguments about?

  • Ian - 2011-12-12 01:05

    come mother nature, they wont learn, finnish it off, ive had enough

  • Kevin Nicklin - 2011-12-12 04:50

    When all the trees have been cut down, when all the animals have been hunted, when all the waters are polluted, when all the air is unsafe to breathe, only then will they discover that they cannot eat money. Source: famous American Indian Cherokee sayings.

  • Gregory Jurgens - 2011-12-12 05:51

    Mother nature will have the last laugh when the virus called human beings has been anialated .

  • Ian - 2011-12-12 06:43

    Ultimately the technology to power the world by "green-energy" is not available yet. By 2020 we will be in a much better technological place, and these "green-energy" technologies will be available for implementation and use. Ultimately you can't construct things that don't really work. Yes global warming is a major threat, but one that we can't face now due to our limited technologies. You say you want to power the world - in a environmental friendly way - then give them a chance to develop the infrastructure to do so, without being retarded by policies at every corner. You want to feed the world, then stop going against GM foods. Stop fighting against technology in general, yes its a dirty business now, but we have to go through it. We've come a LONG way since the industrial revolution. Wait and see, for in the end, to protect their bottom lines the corporations must protect this world we all live in.

  • Breinlekkasie - 2011-12-12 06:49

    I have not heard Green Peace come up with even one alternative technology that are cost effective, can produce the volumes of energy required and does not shift the pollution problem from air pollution to some other pollution. What I have heard is lots of criticism but not a single solution! So how about it Green Peace, give us one solution in stead of more criticism!

  • Raldo Loots - 2011-12-12 07:26

    Makes me think of the movie The day the earth stood still where Barnhardt is discussing the fate of the humans with an alien. Professor Barnhardt: There must be alternatives. You must have some technology that could solve our problem. Klaatu: Your problem is not technology. The problem is you. You lack the will to change. Professor Barnhardt: Then help us change. Klaatu: I cannot change your nature. You treat the world as you treat each other. Professor Barnhardt: But every civilization reaches a crisis point eventually. Klaatu: Most of them don't make it. Professor Barnhardt: Yours did. How? Klaatu: Our sun was dying. We had to evolve in order to survive. Professor Barnhardt: So it was only when your world was threated with destruction that you became what you are now. Klaatu: Yes. Professor Barnhardt: Well that's where we are. You say we're on the brink of destruction and you're right. But it's only on the brink that people find the will to change. Only at the precipice do we evolve. This is our moment. Don't take it from us, we are close to an answer.

      Soetdoring - 2011-12-12 08:55

      Yes, Professor Barnhardt did evolve indeed. Shame.

  • johan.visser - 2011-12-12 08:19

    The way I see it, the only decision made wqas the one to postpone all decisions until 2020...

  • JudithNkwe - 2011-12-12 08:44

    South Africa already suffers badly from climate change. Our air, land and water are severely polluted, causing ecosystem destruction and health problems. We are becoming food and water scarce. There are ways out of the situation, but they require great determination from us all to change. The quote from "The Day the World stood still" below is very pertinent

  • Craig - 2011-12-12 10:05

    Until the ex spurts and scientist stop lying and issueing false reports how can anybody take them seriously, if we are to ban fossil fuels what are we to replace them with, its easy to knock an idea but please replace it with something that is viable and is not going to make the poor poorer.

  • Kitty - 2011-12-12 10:43

    Stress occurs when the pressure exceeds the resources. In 35 years the world's population has doubled from 3 billion to 7 billion. Go figure. unless we can halt this the world will not be able to sustain us no matter what ............... Stressed earth.

  • husstla - 2011-12-14 07:37

    The interests of profit-hungry and polluting corporations have won at the recent UN climate talks, several NGOs said on Sunday. "Polluters won, people lost,"....said the Greenpeace International's executive director...

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